Should you opt for kettlebells or go more traditional with dumbbells? That’s a question that’s up for debate. Both have a place in the gym and in any training program. If you consider kettlebells, they offer more of a challenge. They’re unbalanced and tend to mimic the everyday activities we do when lifting. These are great for moves that are explosive, like the ones used in basketball. One draw back is you need more training or you’ll end up with quite a few bruises from hitting yourself. Dumbbells are a good option no matter what your goal and far easier to learn to use.
Kettlebell workouts are full body workouts.
While dumbbell exercises work more specific muscle groups, kettlebells work the whole body. Your core gets a tough workout trying to keep its center of gravity, since the kettlebells are unbalanced. A workout targets back, glutes, hamstrings and core muscles. It builds strength in the arms, shoulders and legs. You’ll improve your flexibility, endurance and strength with kettlebells, by boosting your heart rate, increasing your range of motion and working all your muscles toward failure.
Dumbbells let you refine your workout.
You can isolate muscle groups to work when you use dumbbells. Your workout can be more precise, which makes dumbbells good for recovery workouts and those for body sculpting. If you aren’t working on dynamic moves, dumbbells provide bigger gains in overall strength in just six weeks. They’re also far easier to use and you’ll make bigger strides toward your goal if it’s getting fit and building strength.
It’s easier to increase the weight you lift when you use dumbbells.
Dumbbells have smaller increments in weight size, so you can gradually increase how much you lift. Some dumbbells are adjustable and all you have to do is clip on extra weight. Kettlebells require a new bell every time you increase how much you lift. There’s an argument that kettlebells cost less than a full set of dumbbells, but that’s only if you stick with one kettlebell. If you’re like the average person, within a few months, you’ll be ready to lift heavier and need another kettlebell. Adjustable dumbbells are superior when you consider price and space required. Traditional dumbbells that aren’t adjustable and kettlebells rank about the same in cost taking all variables into consideration.
- There’s no reason you have to choose between the two. When you first start out, dumbbells are easier to use. As you get fitter, you can switch to kettlebells for a change of pace or to work muscles in a different way.
- You need more space for a kettlebell workout, since you’re swinging the kettlebells. Kettlebells also pose a greater risk for injury that can range from pulled muscles, to hitting yourself or accidently releasing the kettlebell in a swing.
- Kettlebells are far more fun to use than regular weights or dumbbells, so you’ll be more apt to use them. They provide a different type of workout that increases flexibility, balance and endurance, while building strength.
- There are more workout options with dumbbells. Push-press movements that are slow are an option and explosive movements are also options.
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